Remembering Some of Our Favorite Rock 'N' Rollers We Lost in 2017

click to enlarge Remembering Some of Our Favorite Rock 'N' Rollers We Lost in 2017
Facebook, Chester Bennington

Compared to all of the musicians and artists we lost in 2016, like Phife Dog, David Bowie and Prince, 2017 didn't really look as grim in comparison (there's a few days left so we're gonna go ahead and knock on wood).

But it's not like we didn't see some lost this year. From losing our own Conjunto legend Nick "El Nicky Snick" Villarreal, to folks like Chuck Berry, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Fats Domino and "Rhinestone Cowboy" singer Glen Campbell, 2017 shared it's own sense of loss.

To pay our respects, here's a look back on four rock 'n' rollers who passed away in 2017, and whose lives impacted us:

click to enlarge Remembering Some of Our Favorite Rock 'N' Rollers We Lost in 2017
Facebook, Chester Bennington
Chester Bennington

Even though the band managed to evolve beyond the increasingly unpopular sound of nu-metal and rap-rock, somewhere in the mid-to-late aughts, Linkin Park’s movement towards alt-pop was met with much criticism from their original fanbase, but still continued to rank high on the music charts like with One More Light which garnered the number one spot on the Billboard Music chart and was released back in May of this year. So, when my co-worker/work-wife Jessica Elizarraras told me from across the office back in July, that reports of vocalist Chester Bennington's death were starting to roll in, my heart sank. And because it’s my job to report shit that I think our readers (like you) might want to know, I busted out a quick report about Bennington’s untimely suicide, which just happened to be on the late Chris Cornell’s birthday – another alumnus of rock and roll fame who took his life earlier this year. Law enforcement sources told TMZ the singer hanged himself at a residence in Palos Verdes Estates in L.A. County. Bennington’s body was discovered just before 9 a.m. Thursday, July 20. The band was scheduled to start a tour with a concert on July 27 in Mansfield, Massachusetts with a stop in San Antonio on August 23.

click to enlarge Remembering Some of Our Favorite Rock 'N' Rollers We Lost in 2017
Facebook, Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

At only 8 years old, the video for “Black Hole Sun” (arguably Soundgarden’s biggest hit), was imprinted into my memory and stuck with me through my adulthood. I’d say that most folks in their late 20s and early 30s would say the same thing, and even though a lot of us may have not really followed singer Chris Cornell’s path past Audioslave – basically Rage Against The Machine with Cornell on vocals, the singer possessed one of the most unique voices of the ‘90s and 2000s. On May 15, the 52-year-old, who was friends with Bennington, was found hanging in a hotel bathroom by a family friend. His wife, Vicky Cornell, later issued a statement revealing she believed his anxiety medication, Ativan, could have played a role in his death: "Chris's death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend," Vicky wrote. "His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother's Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do."

click to enlarge Remembering Some of Our Favorite Rock 'N' Rollers We Lost in 2017
Facebook, Jack Off Jill

Scott Putesky of Marilyn Manson

Scott Putesky, better known as Daisy Berkowitz, co-founded and played guitar in Marilyn Manson up until halfway through the recording of 1996’s Antichrist Superstar when he left over creative differences with vocalist frontman Marilyn Manson. After leaving the band, Putesky played in a number of other bands including Jack Off Jill, Godhead and his own project Three Ton Gate. In 2013 the guitarist revealed he was battling stage four colon cancer, but according to a post on Jack of Jill's Facebook page, Putesky passed away on Sunday, October 22: "Saying goodbye to Scott, friend, bandmate, artist, hero.. RIP Scott - ‘always touched by your presence dear.'" Marilyn Manson (who will perform in San Antonio next year), released a statement on his Instagram: "Scott Putesky and I made great music together. We had our differences over the years, but I will always remember the good times more. Everyone should listen to “Man that You Fear” in his honor. That was our favorite."

Remembering Some of Our Favorite Rock 'N' Rollers We Lost in 2017
Facebook, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty

Tom Petty, the legendary artist best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died on October 2, at 66. The rocker was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and put on life support after being found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home. Topping the charts with hits like “Free Fallin’,” “American Girl,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers rose to fame in the '70s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Petty and his band have been active since the release of their eponymous debut album in 1976 and played his last show this past Monday, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl which wrapped up a 40th anniversary tour that took Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. "It’s shocking, crushing news," Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone in a statement. "I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him."
Scroll to read more Music Stories & Interviews articles
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.